The Shadows of Total War: Europe, East Asia, and the United States, 1919-1939

By Roger Chickering; Stig Förster | Go to book overview

The Shadows of Total War

EUROPE, EAST ASIA, AND THE UNITED STATES,
1919–1939

The period between the two world wars of the twentieth century was one of the most exciting in the history of war. In anticipation of another conflict, military planners and civilian thinkers struggled after 1918 with the painful implications of World War I. Given its scope, the wholesale mobilization of civilian populations, and the targeting of civilians via blockades and strategic bombing, many observers regarded this titanic conflict as a "total war." They also conluded that any future conflict would bear the same hallmarks; and they planned accordingly. The essays in this collection, the fourth in a series on the problem of total war, examine the interwar period. They explore the lingering consequences of World War I, the intellectual efforts to analyze this conflict's military significance, the attempts to plan for another general war, and several episodes in the 1930s that portended the war that erupted in 1939.

Roger Chickering is Professor of History at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University. His publications include Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914–1918 (Cambridge 1998) and Karl Lamprecht (1856–1915): A German Academic Life (1993).

Stig Förster is Professor of History at the University of Bern in Switzerland. His publications include Der doppelte Militarismus: Die deutsche Heeresrüstungspolitik zwischen Status-quo-Sicherung und Aggression, 1890–1913 (1985) and Die müachtigen Diener der East India Company: Ursachen und Hintergründe der britischen Expansionspolitik in Südasien, 1793–1819 (1992).

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